2021 PANCES International Advisory Board Meeting videos
2021 PANCES International Advisory Board Meeting videos was opened on Youtube.
Case Study Site 1(Noto and Sado)
Case Study Site 2(Hokkaido)
Case Study Site 3(Okinawa)
Comments from international advisors
Prof. Eduardo Brondizio
Department of Anthropology, Indiana University Bloomington,USA
Co-Chair, IPBES Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (2016-2019)
- I am glad to make some general comments. It is a lot of information to digest. I am extremely impressed with what you have been able to accomplish. Looking back at the first few years of the project, I see that you have accomplished your goals.
- My first comment is that you did what you intended in terms of conceptualization of this overly complex system and different pieces of the system. Considering all the global pressures; I think the creation of the new conceptualization works well for understanding and valuing natural capital. I found your collection of analytical methods very impressive. You should value them, such as in dedicating articles showcasing the technical developments behind the project.
- The other thing I found very impressive is, how complete/detailed the results are at the local and national levels. The project shows the importance on looking at regional, national and local variation in discussing trends in ecosystem services.
- I am impressed with other, perhaps less tangible, results of the project, such as in terms of the amount of training, the number of graduates, the connections developed at national and international levels, both in Asia, and with intergovernmental organizations such as IPBES. Congratulations to all.
- I have many specific questions, some that are coming to mind from the first group of presentations is whether in the different scenarios you have developed are able to identify possible conflicting land-use changes that could undermine natural capital and system resilience?
- I think the project could further highlight results about the dependence of urban population on natural capital. This message could be translated more broadly to a wider public to show how interdependent the different regional populations of Japan are with the natural capital.
- In analyzing cultural services, you stress and give more attention to the cultural value of, for instance, rice paddies and local fisheries. These elements have very strong cultural services for the local and national population; were systems such as rice paddies and local fisheries considered as cultural services or "just" as provisioning services? To what extent are cultural services part being evaluated in terms of their economic and non-economic contributions? In theme four you used the concept of 'social significant ecosystems'. It is not fully clear to me what is the difference between the concept of social significant ecosystems and cultural services? Can you use the concept of social significant ecosystem service to show the cultural and social values of, for instance, rice paddies or fisheries?
- One more point on the cultural service related to the number of visitors to beaches and other areas. That is an important cultural service, but difficult to correlate number of visitors with the value of a cultural service, i.e., the local value (economic and non-economic) of, for instance, local food traditions and cultural heritage may not correlate with the number of visitors used to assess cultural services.
- It is clear you have laid out a solid foundation for a possible next phase of the project, which I hope you are considering seriously; you have developed the foundations not only for an exciting research agenda, but to support the development of social-ecological management plans at both local and national levels.
- I would love to discuss the data you presented but I will keep it general because of time. I was pleased with the three levels of innovation seen in the local cases. First, you are analyzing how communities are dealing with tradeoffs between population change, types of resource management, agricultural change. Second and related, as seen in the second case presented, you are showing multiple local innovations in governance arrangements. This is an important area of research on transformation to sustainability. Third, the different subprojects contribute analytical innovations such as in terms of downscaling scenarios to more local level. These are three types of contributions that also indicate the importance of the project beyond Japan.
- You have material to prepare at least two major synthesis papers. For instance, you can consider a paper that draws on the lessons from the project such as in terms of implementing a complex multi-scalar framework and building scenarios at multiple levels. You could also consider a paper that brings together the different case studies; it would be an opportunity for the group to discuss what kind of cross-cutting question could unite cases around a synthesis.
- The project seems to have completed everything that it proposed. It lays out the foundation for a new proposal to continue to take the advances of the project forward.
Dr. Simon Ferrier
Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO Land & Water
Honorary Professor, Australian National University
Honorary Fellow, UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre
- This work is just so impressive overall, and it is amazing to hear how much progress has been made over the life of the project. I just have so many different strengths and novel aspects I have written down here. I will not go through them all as it would take too much time, but just to pick up on some of these. The interaction between terrestrial and marine that has been addressed is impressive. The operationalization of the Nature's Future Framework from IPBES, for which most discussion around that has been very academic to date, is also very impressive. It is marvelous to see a good practical example of bringing that framework to life. The strong usage of local knowledge is exemplary, and the list just goes on.
- Let me point to some key questions. A few of these relate to the issue of scale, which I think this is a strong thing that has come out of the work. There is clearly much heterogeneity within the regions and across the country. Probably the most outstanding example of that, both in the terrestrial and marine work, is the variation in the slope of the correlation between the different ecosystem services. Within some parts of the country, you can have a positive correlation between two ecosystem services. Other parts of the country you get a negative correlation. To me that is fascinating. I would love to learn more about what are is driving these differences and more importantly what are the implications of those differences for the sorts of policies that have been implemented, or could be implemented, within those regions. That brings me to a key question or challenge relating to this work. These scenarios that you explored, and they are largely explorative scenarios, were analyzed as if the entire country were to go down a single policy path. Given the strong regional differences, one of the big challenges in the application of this work is, how would you start to consider different mixes of policies in different parts of the country? That to me is a real challenge which I would like to hear more about. How you think that challenge could be addressed in the future? It makes good sense that at the broad policy design or exploratory stage, these broad scenarios are treated as major options at a national level, but it sounds like, given the regional differences, you might need to eventually consider different policies in different parts of the country.
- From a more technical perspective I am interested in the strong use of machine learning to build your ecosystem and ecosystem-service models. Generally, in ecosystem modeling there has been a very strong emphasis placed on more process-based models. I can see some strength in machine learning for that purpose. Do you have any reflections that have come out of this work regarding the strengths or weakness of using machine learning approach to building ecosystem models versus a more process-based approach?
- From the marine work, I was impressed by the focus placed on using fine resolution environmental data. Did you gain any insights as to how much difference does working with very fine resolution environmental data versus coarser data, make on projections of impacts of climate change on ecosystem service provisioning?
- Just standing back and admiring the quality of the work that has been done, I see a great opportunity here for moving this work forward. This would involve using the material and analyses developed here to provide further insights relating to the issue of scale previously mentioned. I am intrigued by the way you have applied a common set of scenarios across these different scales. Looking within the case study areas, it is clear you have internal heterogeneity in terms of what the different policy scenarios mean. This offers a test bed for looking at how to work across scales in the use of scenario analysis to inform policy decision making. People talk about this a lot in theory, but here we have a glimpse of how this might work in practice. It would be marvelous to find opportunities to build on the excellent work you have done, exploring this and other challenges into the future. I will leave it there in the interest of time.
Dr. Salvatore Arico
Ocean Science Section
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
- I would like to say that I am happy to continue participating in the project. I am equally impressed along with the other members of the international advisory committee about the progress made. I think this is an important reality-check and model project for similar initiatives regarding ecosystem services and human well-being at the national level. So please consider replicating this project in other countries. Professor Takeuchi mentioned that several of the findings of the project were also from countries in the region other than Japan. Let me try and be as concrete as possible and make mostly a few comments rather than posing questions.
- As to theme 1, which focuses on the conceptual framework and integrated model, I found the model approach bult around the condensed vs. dispersed and produced vs. natural capital axes especially useful. Some of the findings presented, for example, the case study on the solar PV, lead to an important finding, that is to say, they point to a mosaic kind of approach to management. In the presentation of the findings, you may wish to have your condensed-dispersed-produced-natural model results represented visually in a more appealing manner, using dedicated visuals that shoud be more impatful from a communication perspective. A mosaic kind of configuration represents a blend of different situations. Some of the findings indicate that those various management approaches assessed are not necessarily in competition from the perspective of the need to maintain and capitalize upon biodiversity and ecosystem services. A mosaic approach is the kind of representation that you often use to illustrate ecological processes, and it appears to work well to represent socio-ecological processes as well.
- Regarding theme 2, which focuses on terrestrial impacts. I was impressed about the mapping and modeling of cultural services. This is something that many talk about but not many scholars are able to show how cultural services can be represented because this can be a sensitive issue. It is a bold choice to use machine learning to illustrate those services. I would like to encourage the project and scientist participating in it to explore further this line of work. The case study on the land/ocean continuum, a satoumi type system, represents beautifully the convergence in the explanation about traditional knowledge with the science explanation. I think that it is a nice illustration of how they complement each other through generation, representation and assessment of knowledge.
- Regarding theme 3, the marine theme: there is a disconnect between science aspects of and the policy debate in relation to blue carbon. On the science side of things, there are questions being addressed regarding the role of algae, for example, whereas, in the policy arena, brown algae are not yet considered as a blue carbon system. When referring to blue carbon in the context of the UN Framework of Conventional Climate Change (UNFCCC), you are only talking about seagrass, mangrove, and saltmarsh systems. Therefore, I think you also want to take that into account, because ultimately the project is to support decision making and management strategies. You also make links between multiple levels of policy interventions, from national all the way to international. It is important to note that in the context of UNFCC, the natural room to discuss blue carbon is Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. At this stage, the policy community is not ready to consider other systems than mangroves, seagrasses and saltmarshes as part of the blue carbon equation. Still on the marine element, in the future the analysis can be expanded to include a multiple stressors angle, for example, ocean climate change plus acidification. Of course, acidification is a manifestation of increased CO2 concentration in the water column, but it can also act in synergy with warming, de-oxygenation, etc. I think we are headed towards a multiple stressors approach to the problems of the ocean and possible solutions. Perhaps this could be the focus of a next paper. By the way I think we are all speechless at this impressive list of number and quality of the papers produced. This must be said, because scholarly work is increasingly measured through the impact factor approach and, therefore, I think that the project has delivered big time in this respect as well.
- My last comment relates to the fourth theme. I like the wealth index approach that was applied. This is something we talk about whend discussing the need to go beyond the GDP, but not many apply a more inclusive approach to measuring wealth. The presenter insisted on the fact that including wealth is important but without forgetting the natural capital. I think that this is important because PANCES focuses a lot on ecosystem services and that, because management is a matter of societal choice (according to the CBD ecosystem approach), we should not lose the focus on natural capital when taking societal decisions affecting not just people but also the ecosystems on which they depend. In this regard, some of the findings presented clearly showed regional differences. For example, to my knowledge and based on the results presented, natural capital remains an important element to Japan’s wealth. I support these approaches going beyond the GDP when it comes to measuring wealth.
- I also recommend comparing the case studies as they are different geographically, and the issues that are dealt with also differ. So, it would be helpful to see what would emerge from a comparison between these case studies.